Why Can't I Sleep?

As any mom, health guru, or usually sane person will tell you, sleep is important. Sleep not only resets your brain for a new day, but raises creativity, helps control stress levels, and regulates weight. So, when you can't sleep, how do you fix that?

As long as I can remember I've been an excellent sleeper. I could sleep through a particularly harsh thunderstorm in a tent or in a packed airport. However, recently I found myself tossing and turning throughout the night. I did some googling to figure out how to get back to sleep. Read on for the remedies I found if you, like me, just can't sleep through the night!

1) Use a Sleep Calculator

One sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes. To have a restful night, a person needs about 5 or 6 full sleep cycles. Often when you wake up and feel tired it is because your alarm clock woke you up in the middle of one of these cycles. A sleep calculator can tell you what time you need to go to sleep based off of what time you need to wake up to get your full 5-6 cycles. 

2) Put Away the Technology

Studies have found that the blue light emitted from our devices signal to our brains that it is time to be awake and attending to business. Putting your devices away even 30 minutes before bed can signal your brain that it is time to wind down and go to sleep. I personally like to not use any technology an hour before bedtime and use that time to read and use calming breathing techniques. 

3) Melatonin

While I usually like to use more holistic remedies before turning to medication, melatonin is a naturally occurring chemical in the body, and the pill sold in stores is just meant to supplement your body's natural supply. Pop one twenty minutes before bed and it should support a peaceful sleep throughout the night. 

4) White Noise

I never realized how much I disliked a completely silent room until I slept in one. Sound apps like Rain Rain have a plethora of soothing natural sounds like rainstorms, crackling fires, and washing machines. These noises can soothe you off to sleep and come with a sleep feature so they won't play all night. 

5) Working Out

While I do hot yoga almost every day, even a light jog around your neighborhood can fatigue your body enough to set off a deep slumber. Try an hour of movement once a week to see if it encourages sleep. Try building up how much you move over a couple of weeks and you should be sleeping like a baby in no time. 

While I do all of these things to encourage sleep, I have to be realistic that college is stressful, and no matter what my brain will constantly be thinking and stressing. Hopefully one day I can get my mind to chill out, but for now I'll stick with these tips and I hope you do too!